Fighting Wicked, Trying Not to Quit

I’m going to try NaNoWriMo again. Last year, miserable failure, so I needed a new strategy. This year, instead of trying to write masterfully, I will simply write. Can I turn off the inner editor for more than three sentences? Who knows, but I will try to turn off the editor for four weeks.

I’ve taken writing courses in both fiction and poetry recently, and I have found that my classmates have uniformly disliked my material. I’m a modernist sinking in a sea of well-trained crafty dime store novelists. I wish I could craft anything well, but I’ll be damned if I’ll write something that’s been written millions of times.

I’m not a writer, but my heart gets sparked when I write, so damn the people who don’t read the shit. I’m going to write the shit and we’ll see where we go from here.

When I left the mental hospital tonight (thankfully having been there as a visitor trying to share hope rather than floating there as an admitted patient), the staff member told me to watch for deer. The full moon was fogged behind deep purple curtains, so I had to use my bright lights a few times. I was resentful of the clouds while others are dealing with horrible winds and floods. I tried to be a blazing trail of alertness. There were no deer encounters, but there was a dead dog. So sadness pervades my evening, not as severe as the pre-visit crater of terrifying depression, but creating doubt that I have any chance at writing 50K words in November, but here on October 30th, I feel determined to plough through.

Every word I write seems to murder one of the parasitic creatures inside my skull, which temporarily alleviates the pain, so on we go – let’s kill some pain.

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  1. #1 by claudia on October 31, 2012 - 8:52 am

    cool on your writing plans…for me everything that’s longer than a poem would just be an unachievable goal at the moment…writing as a pain killer and tool to sort thoughts.. i can relate to this…happy writing carl..

    • #2 by Carl on October 31, 2012 - 9:01 pm

      Thank you for your supportive words, Claudia.

  2. #3 by Jennifer on October 31, 2012 - 4:34 pm

    This right here: “When I left the mental hospital tonight (thankfully having been there as a visitor trying to share hope rather than floating there as an admitted patient), the staff member told me to watch for deer. The full moon was fogged behind deep purple curtains, so I had to use my bright lights a few times. I was resentful of the clouds while others are dealing with horrible winds and floods. I tried to be a blazing trail of alertness. There were no deer encounters, but there was a dead dog. ”

    That is a great opening for a novel!!!! 😉 Good luck with Nano

    • #4 by Carl on October 31, 2012 - 9:04 pm

      Thank you, Jennifer. I appreciate your kind words. I’m feeling more courage now.

    • #5 by David Stewart on November 2, 2012 - 4:46 am

      I’d read that novel. 🙂

  3. #6 by Hawkruh on November 1, 2012 - 10:54 am

    I agree with Jennifer, Carl. You wrote it straight out. Just let the words flow as they will. Screw the other people. Write for you.

    • #7 by Carl on November 5, 2012 - 11:53 pm

      You are right – Why else should we do it?

  4. #8 by David Stewart on November 2, 2012 - 4:47 am

    Good luck on Nano. My novel last year was terrible, but I used the writing to work through the plot, so I’d like to try to write it again sometime with what I’ve learned. Writing may be unreadable, but I don’t think it’s ever wasted. Have fun in the next month~

    • #9 by Carl on November 5, 2012 - 11:54 pm

      Thanks for your comment, David. I gave up again, but I’m still writing…

  5. #10 by Kay Camden on November 2, 2012 - 2:01 pm

    Editing while writing a first draft is not allowed. Ready set go. I’d love to read a novel of yours. I recently had to clean up my WordPress subscriptions, and yours was one of the few I’ve saved. That means something, I think.

    • #11 by Carl on November 5, 2012 - 11:55 pm

      I feel lucky to be saved by you! 🙂 I was able to shut down the editor, but the inner critic killed me again.

  6. #12 by stillight on November 3, 2012 - 11:47 pm

    We’ll never know unless we try. I too am attempting Nanowrimo and am writing in a notebook with pen instead of on my laptop. That way I can’t edit myself as I go. but good luck, Carl! and to hell with your past critics. Write what you feel compelled to write – be true to that. “)

    • #13 by Carl on November 5, 2012 - 11:58 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Jennifer. Pen and paper is awesome! Good luck to you!

      I gave up again, but I want to keep working on the writing, so who knows what might come out. I wonder if my attempt to write the non-novel makes me unable to write any kind of novel. I think I try to write something that hasn’t been written and I’m not smart enough.

  7. #14 by Carl D'Agostino on November 4, 2012 - 7:22 pm

    and I have found that my classmates have uniformly disliked my material.

    I would suspect most cattle would. If you have followers like me and sixthsmith, well it takes depth to recognize depth and word craftsmanship.

    • #15 by Carl on November 6, 2012 - 12:00 am

      I am major grateful for a follower such as yourself. You have some messed up classmates.

  8. #16 by mentalnotes1 on December 5, 2012 - 8:21 pm

    YOU ARE FUNNNY, I LOVE YOUR ENERGY, IT’S REFRESHING! I HAVE BEEN IN THE MENTAL HOSPITAL, AS A PATIENT, SOME YEARS AGO, SHIT, IT’S LONG STORY. LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE.

    • #17 by Carl on December 25, 2012 - 5:35 pm

      I appreciate your comment. It means a great deal.

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